Workshops > Frontiers in Mathematical Biology

Frontiers in Mathematical Biology

Modelling acquired drug resistance in HIV+ individuals

Jessica M. Conway

University of British Columbia


Anti-retroviral drug treatment for HIV has been extremely effective in controlling HIV infection and current drug regimens rarely lead to resistance in adherent patients. However, as earlier treatment has been shown to improve quality and length of life, and also to reduce onward transmissibility, individuals face increased duration on treatment and increased fear of acquiring drug resistance over the long term. In order to study the risk of drug resistance emerging during treatment, we have developed a stochastic model of HIV dynamics on treatment. Our model allows us to examine different mechanisms for the emergence of drug resistance: mutation occurring during ongoing cycles of drug-sensitive viral replication, or through the activation of latently-infected cells primed to produce resistant or partly-resistant virus. I will present preliminary results comparing the likelihoods of these two paths to acquired drug resistance and outline directions for further study.